Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the
amount of calories your body burns each day just by functioning- for example,
through basic things like sustaining internal body temperature, pumping blood,
breathing. So even if you did nothing by lie on the couch all day, your body
would still be burning calories. Understanding this figure is key to
determining the amount of calories you need to consume and burn in order lose
So what determines your BMR? There are a number of different factors that will influence how many calories your body burns at rest, so each person’s result will be different. Some of the things that impact your BMR include:
Estimating your BMR
There are a number of scientific formulas that can be used to estimate your BMR, taking into consideration many of the factors above. Of course, no equation can calculate your BMR with absolute accuracy, so keep in mind that these results are approximate.
Some of the most popular BMR estimation formulas include:
The Harris-Benedict formula
Based on total body weight, considering height, weight, age and gender.
This equation is more accurate, as it is based on lean body weight- but this means you need to know your lean body mass (LBM).
Using your BMR in your weight loss plan
Once you’ve estimated your BMR, you can use this information to more effectively plan your calorie intake to help you reach your weight loss goals. Your BMR tells you how many calories you need per day to stay active and healthy. In other words, this is your daily caloric maintenance level. So, to keep your weight stable, you should remain close to this level.
To lose a few kilos, you need to create a calorie deficit. So, your daily intake of calories should be less than your BMR plus the extra calories burned through exercise. You can either add your exercise calories manually, or use the following formula to approximate based on your usual level of activity:
Adjust your diet plan gradually, making healthy and sensible changes. Keep track of your progress and results, and soon you’ll be looking and feeling your best.
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